Recently I mentioned the excellent Bryan Bender takeout in the Boston Globe about the stampede of retired admirals and generals into jobs with defense contractors. An employee of a Naval research lab writes:
>>The retired generals and admirals graph may also indicate the present value of the higher officer corps in the market. Decades ago captured utilities (Southern Company, Entergy) or oil firms (Mobil, Exxon) or construction firms would hire them. However in the ensuing time their 19th century management skills have become unusable outside the military industrial complex. I have a feeling that the percentage of lower level officers working in defense consulting would also track these numbers.<<
Another reader asks:
>I think a more important question should be, "Why did we have 39 Generals or Admirals of 3+ stars retired in 2007 and that wasn't front-page news?" After all, while I'm not old enough to remember it, I do know that giving Eisenhower and Bradley and other leaders of WW2 combat commands got 4th stars after, say, beating the Nazis on their home turf. Why do we have so many former high-ranking officers now that 39 can retire in one year without creating a massive stir?<<
And, from another Federal employee:
>>The revolving door that exists between the military and defense contractors has resulted in the Pentagon more interested in how to defeat the Covenant or the Locust than how to win the wars we are actually fighting. And I don't mean that they spend all day playing Xbox.
Nor is this revolving door limited strictly to the military, but I'm sure you already know that. One of the things I never understood about December is when I walk around my building (a federal building with over 4000 people in it on an average day) there are tons of flyers for the various GS-14s, 15s, and executives that are "retiring". I don't really considering it retiring when you leave on a Friday and are sitting at the same desk on Monday with a slightly different colored badge, and I refuse to pretend that this is anything but a farce. If anything, you can tell who the real slugs are because they are the ones that don't come back as contractors.<<
Let's see if any politicians dare take this on.